When we left Hwy 2 on the final push for Steven’s Pass, my Garmin showed 67.7 miles & an elevation of 2,224 feet. When we encountered the landslide covering the road, my Garmin showed 72.2 miles and 3,447 feet.
There was zero hesitation. We dismounted and climbed over … to find a second landslide immediately after that one. We climbed over. We saddled up and pedaled on around a bend, to find a third. We went around that tree-covered switchback to find a fourth at the next switchback. Powering through that, there was a fifth that was so large we couldn’t at first determine which way to go to find the road on the other side.
This was the point when started asking, “How many more of these do you think there are?” The answer was, “Well we’re certainly not going back down.” There was no way we were going to repeat another 1,200 feet of climb, on a road that is way more exposed to the noon sun. So we formed a chain over the pile of trees and snow and relayed all the bikes over (we had gotten pretty efficient at getting over landslides at this point).
Landslide #6 was discovered to be a “screen,” concealing from us the largest landslide of them all. There were no questions. There was no pause. We walked towards landslide #7 and started working our way over. We ran into dead end after dead end. Finally, after about fifteen minutes of weaving (and a bonus 20 feet of elevation gain carrying our bikes), we got to the other side of it.
I’d like to think this was a demonstration of sheer determination. In reality, I think it was more about sheer laziness.